Winds still howling through parts of southern Manitoba as winter storm pushes through

It’s a windswept world in southern Manitoba, where blizzard-like conditions in some places are creating poor visibility.

A strong Arctic cold front is still working its way across the region, though many of the weather alerts that covered the south on Tuesday ahead of the storm have been lifted.

And the snowfall amounts overnight into Wednesday were far less than expected in a number of locations.

Winnipeg, which was bracing for the possibility of up to 15 centimetres, only received a few, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Mike Russo. 

Exact calculations on snowfall amounts, and which part of the province received the most, are still being tabulated, he said. 

Snow and heavy winds made driving conditions treacherous around Brandon on Tuesday evening. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Winnipeg and the Interlake are still under blowing snow advisories, while areas to the west and south of the city — Morden, Winkler, Altona, Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman, Morris, Steinbach, St. Adolphe and Emerson — face blizzard warnings.

Much further north in the province, the Brochet, Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids areas are under an extreme cold warning.

Temperatures around –30 C and wind chills that make it feel closer to –45 are expected early Wednesday before they moderate slightly later in the morning.

Gusting northwesterly winds are combining with freshly fallen snow in open areas, creating hazards on the highways in those areas.

Russo said the highest wind gusts so far have been in the Gretna area, where they reached 80 km/h. Winnipeg had gusts of 70 km/h.

Several highways were shut down as the storm moved into the province late Tuesday, but many have since reopened.

According to Manitoba 511, the following remain closed as of Wednesday morning due to poor winter driving conditions:

  • Highway 5, from McCreary to Grandview.
  • Highway 16, from Highway 1 to Minnedosa.
  • PR 482, from Highway 5 to Highway 83.

The conditions across the south are expected to improve around midday Wednesday as the winds moderate, according to Environment Canada.

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